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NALTREXONE
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NALTREXONE

Would like to know if anyone here has tried naltrexone and how it was used (doseage).
Did it work for you with craving?
Thank you for any information.  :)

Ella                                        opiate free 2-16-09
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Avatar_f_tn
there have been many here who have used that for alcohol withdrawal and keeping craving free!some with Campral......many opiate addicts seem to do well on Suboxone combined with a changed lifestyle and a support group...different meds work diff on diff folks...i take it u r considering this?what is ur drug of choice?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi and thank you for your reply.     This is my third day taking Naltrexone and this a.m. I took 1/2 tablet only because I woke up with a headache! and I never do that.

  I detoxed from opiates ( lortab )  in February and have been clean since then,  the only thing that has really bothered me about staying clean has been the cravings along with very little energy.  I have searched the web for anything to help with those symptoms and Naltrexone seemed to be worth a try.  Just wanting some input from others who have used it succesfully for their w/d aftercare.  I do understand that the dosage is the same for alcohol and drug.  Thursday and Friday I took a whole (50mg) tablet,  just brief nausea, passes quickly, other than that I have very little side effects from a whole tablet,  this a.m. ,because of the headache , I decided to take half.   I was really surprised that my Dr. let me have the Naltrexone,  after explaining to him that I wanted to try it for the cravings ect, he seemed to think that instead of the LDN that I was considering doing,  that I should maybe just use the whole tablet daily.  He really didn't seem to think it would be too awfully helpful to me at the low dose and perhaps the whole tablet either.  So far I am carve-free,  my hopes for that are being a reality now,  hope the nrgy comes back,  still in this journey, after 4 mos.  but I  am glad to be in recovery!   I am a chronic pain patient, got to where I needed more and more of the Loras to work for me,  so I made the decision to detox and with the help of my dr. and some Clonidine and a few tranzene,  I have made it this far.  

Thank you again for your reply.  and Best wishes to everyone!

Ella
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Avatar_f_tn
i ahve been sober/clean myself for 25 years...dayjob is substance abuse counselor....we have MANY heroin and opiate addicts in our agency who do well on the Suboxone....they tell us it tastes horrible but does work wonders......hope ur side effects r done soon and if not maybe try the suboxone?up to ur doctor!the energy will return......takes awhile for ur brain opiate receptors to return to a normal state....whatever normal is!:)i think a cycle on washing machine????:)
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for your post,  my gosh I am really glad that this site has such great success storys!!   I had thought abt. the sub. but was just wanting something that I wouldn't have to tapper-off of and then to have to go in and be put on a wait list! wow.  

  My phychiatrist is the Dr; who let me have the Naltrexone.  He has really helped me with my detox in February, with the clonidine. and when I go in abt. how my prescriptions are working, he is really concerned (or seems to be ) abt. how I am mentaly and physicaly.    My husband drinks, always has and prob always will.  He will never go to a Dr. says that sometimes they cause more harm than good.  I can understand that but my Dr. has helped me.  Perhaps I can help my husband someday.  As we all know ,,,  you have to do this for yourself,  you have to be determined and persistant with your quit.  
From your post, I can tell that you are good at what you do,  those you council and fortunate indeed!
Ella     P.S.  So far the Naltrexone seems to be working for me, a bit of nausea but it comes and goes.  No nrg as yet but no cravings either :)
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Avatar_f_tn
So good to hear from u!Sounds like u have a very good doctor and it sounds like ur meds are working for u!thank u for the counselor compliments.....i tell my ppl i am nothing more than a guide...a mentor...i know what it takes to heal from addiction in all spheres i do practice what i preach...i cannot help them unless they r willing 2 help themselves!And i go the xtra mile for those that do......the rest......like ur hub....when they get ready we r there for them!Your hub has to want to join u in the recovery journey....do u have children?
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897400_tn?1303332748
Hi E,

Say, how's your energy level? Do you think the Naltrexone is making a difference in that way? The low dose may not help with cravings, but I can tell you that it has done wonders for my mental clarity and today I woke up feeling like I actually slept! Huge improvement.
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Avatar_f_tn
hey what do u ladies eat and drink?It is normal for recovering folks to dig the caffeine and sweets.....large amounts of these cause the blood sugar levels to peak and crash resulting in rollercoaster energy levels.Lots of water fresh fruits vegetables and good protein sources can help energy levels to be/feel more stable!
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897400_tn?1303332748
I drink lots of water and lemon juice ( not always fresh squeezed). I do use splenda, but cut way back. I avoid caffeine like the plague.  I don't eat sugar as a rule, I will gain a bizillion lbs. if I do. Same with bread and pasta and rice. I get most of my protein from chicken and whey.  I also take high potency supplements and a thyroid supplement with L-tyrosene. I eat  fresh fruit and nuts. Generally I avoid processed foods. Splenda is my weakness.

I did go through a few days of indulging in sugary stuff tho' for about a week, but got back on track. I have to watch the sugars ( even naturally occuring ) on the Low Dose Naltrexone. Candida bloom is a common early side effect. I don't know if that's the case with the regular dose that Ella is taking.

I think I eat more healthfully than the average American, but maybe I'm fooling myself. I would probably benefit from eating more often and adding more fresh veggies. I read the Thomas Recipe and following it as closely as possible has  helped me a lot I think. But my body was so weakened by stress even before I detoxed that it's taking me a long time to recover. Plus the stressors are still there. I agree that careful thought needs to be given to what we put in our bodies. Food is also a drug. It causes a chemical reaction in our bodies and that can work for us or against depending.

Thanks for asking. Nutrition is such an important element in recovery!
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Avatar_f_tn
u have very good nutrition!i have a fetish for Edy's fresh frozen fruit bars...the tangerine!and like my chocolate but in moderation!such awesome habits!keep it up....the energy level will return eventually!
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222369_tn?1274478235
I am currently taking Revia (Naltrexone) at 50mg per day. A couple of things to be aware of...1) It will kick your endorphins around for a couple of weeks. I also had stomach upset (take with food) and restless sleep for a few days. 2)Naltrexone can be rough on the liver, so have a liver enzyme test done monthly for the first few months. 3) Be sure to wear a medic alert bracelet to alert medical personnel that you're on naltrexone. 4) Just as a FYI...Immodium and other opiate based diarrheal drugs don't work well in conjunction with naltrexone.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi and thanks for your post.   I do need to get the liver test done so I may ask abt. it at my next appt. on the 7th.   After taking opiates for 5 yrs. (detoxed in February)  I need to get some blood work updated.

  Is the Riva helping you ?  That is what I am taking.  Today only 1/2 again cause the whole tab. makes me just drag !!!!  I have fibro and I sure don't need any extra low-energy.  The Nal is helping with the cravings for me,  they aren't as intense and I was growing weary of dealing with severe craves,  the only thing I miss now is the energy as I have so much to do right now and no desire or energy to do anything!  Too bad there doesn't seem to be anything to help that except more opiates!  Or maybe something that works for sleep disorders. Can't remember what it's called.

Thanks again for your post.

Ella
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897400_tn?1303332748
How has the Naltrexone affected you in regards to you endorphins? Have you experienced depression from it? I'm using it in Low Dose and was wondering what the full dose would do.
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222369_tn?1274478235
The rehab center I went to has one of the biggest researchers in the country on staff. He's conducted thousands of hours on research papers and is head of the pharmacy department for a major University here. I picked his brain about naltrexone and here's what he told me. He suggested I start off at half a pill (25mg) for a week or so...which I did. He also said it would take 2 weeks or so to get used to it (which was true). I had bad stomach cramps for the first 3 days (which was reduced with time and when I started taking it with food). The screwing around with the endorphins wasn't at all like a depressive episode, just a general lack of energy.Naltrexone doesn't mess with other pleasure points in the brain, such as those that control sexual pleasure and the pleasure that comes from everyday life. The relief that comes from naltrexone for opiate users is mostly mental. It doesn't reduce physical cravings, but you get it in your head that even taking something won't do any good, so why bother? It does reduce alcohol cravings. Plus, if an alcoholic slips and takes a drink on naltrexone, they don't get the high as much...so, a relapse is much less drastic. Also be aware that even though naltrexone blocks the opiate high, it still is very easy to overdose if you try to override the effect. Hope this answers your questions. Oh yeah, it does screw with the sleep cycle for a while..but you get used to it. I take my dose at 4PM every day now and have no side effects.
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897400_tn?1303332748
I wondered how it would feel taking the full dose. I have read that it blocks even naturally occuring endorphins. I was prescribed 25mg, but I only take 1.5mg at  night. I don't know if that low a dose would help with cravings (bc I've never had them), but it has really helped with my fatigue. I've also noticed that alcohol just doesn't sound good anymore, but it wasn't my doc either.

I wanted to try the Low Dose Naltrexone to see if it would help with the overwhelming depression I was having after detox. Someone in the addiction community mentioned it might help with PAWS. I have to say that it definitely has.
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222369_tn?1274478235
I do know that naltrexone does not screw around with all naturally occurring endorphins. If this were true, people on naltrexone (like myself) would be feeling no joy in life...which is certainly not true. I have read one research paper that says that opiate tollerance is reset much quicker in those on naltrexone. I think a lot of what people think they know is just conjecture. I also know that naltrexone's blocking effect occurs at the dose of 2mg per hour. So a 24 hour dose would be 50mg. So, a LDN dose would block opiate effects for about an hour...just long enough to "clear" all opiate receptors. So, maybe the LDN dosage is doing what the higher dose does without a long term blocking effect? That's just a guess on my part...what do you guys and gals think?
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897400_tn?1303332748
The temporary block of receptor cells is exactly what happens with LDN. And the 2hr pr, mg is about right. I started at 2.5mg and noticed that I got a rush of endorphins about 6 hours later. For some reason a short block of receptors causes a 2-3 fold increase in endogenous endorphins later in the day. This is why I thought it would help with depression. This is also why it is useful therapy for MS patients. Endorphins are linked with healthy immune function.

http://autoimmunedisease.suite101.com/article.cfm/low_dose_naltrexone_update
http://jeffreydach.com/2007/08/01/low-dose-nalotrexone-ldn-by-jeffrey-dach-md.aspx
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222369_tn?1274478235
I do know that the LDN website recommends a 4.5mg dose at bedtime. If an average adult sleeps 8 hours, then that dose would block the opiate receptors for the entire sleep cycle. Then they would clear whenever you awake. I guess this rush of endorphins may be what makes the user feel great after they wake up? Just conjecture on my part.
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897400_tn?1303332748
Yes, the endorphin rush is very noticeable upon waking. I only take 1.5mg and I can feel it right away. I tried a higher dose and it was just too much stimulation.

It's interesting, but for me the feeling first thing in the morning is uncomfortable. I'm extemely sensitive to caffeine and other stimulants and I think the endorphin rush feels a lot like a caffeine buzz. I'm ok once I get up and move around, but my heart pounds and I feel really antzy if I don't move. Even just getting up and sitting makes me feel better. I think that for someone who is not as sensitive this would feel good. I don't like it, but it makes me get out of bed and move. If that's why it helps with depression then I'm sold.

When I got my Rx my pdoc didn't want to give me LDN because he didn't think it would prevent cravings. I decided to eliminate alcohol along with the opiates because I was afraid it would be a trigger. At first I missed having an occasional glass of wine. But now, even tho' I have it in the house, but it does not draw me in.  So I think it might be helping me abstain, but maybe because I'm so sensitive to it. I wouldn't recommend anyone  with serious cravings try such a low dose unless they needed it for another disease issue.
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Avatar_f_tn
It was my understanding that Naltrexone was originaly used for opiate aftercare and that it did have results after the studies.  It was considered that its' use was only effective in those who were commited to stay on the Naltrexone because some had quite taking it to go back to their DOC.    

This is why I am taking it, and seem to do quite good on the onehalf tablet before bedtime.   If it were all in my head, then why does it seem to be helping.?  Even when you take a tylenol, do you not know whether it helps or not?  Of course you do!  There are many different views on Naltrexone,  I think it works if a person actualy commits to it.I don't consider it a placebo effect at all.  
Originaly used for H users, opiate abusers, and there has to be something to it.  The pleasure centers in the brain aren't divided for "alcohol " alone,  opiates also effect the pleasure centers in the brain.  I am sure that our brains don't care what we ingest, it reacts as pleasure.   Can you relate to this.?

E  
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897400_tn?1303332748
You are correct on all accounts. I hope I'm not confusing the issue by posting about the Low Dose Protocol I'm using. It's totally off label and experimental. I was looking for something to help ease the PAWS, but craving wasn't one of the symptoms I was experiencing. My pdoc rxd the Naltrexone, but he wanted me to take it like you are...25mg a day. I simply refused to because I was afraid it would make my depression worse at that dose. I hope I'm not being redundant...if I am please tell me!

I'm glad to know that you and Ga Guy are not having problems with the higher dose causing a deadening of natural pleasure. I was really concerned about that after reading about some of the side effects.

Naltrexone is also being used to treat non-drug addictions like gambling and shopping compulsions. I also read that some people are genetically predisposed to respond better to Naltrexone than others. So even tho' will power/motivation is a critical factor in success with Naltrexone, there are other factors involved.

Oh, and in my last post I said that I could feel the endorphin rush "right away". I want to clarify that I meant right away upon waking up in the morning. It takes 6 hours or so after the low dose for  endorphin production to get into full swing.
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